Strategy. Leadership. Governance.


Most of the knowledge that an organization requires to move forward already resides within its people. It just needs to be discovered and harnessed so that it can be applied to the challenges and opportunities at hand.


Great leaders understand that they ultimately exist to serve others. In doing so, they demonstrate commitment to people and receive true authority as a sacred trust from their followers.


Increasingly, people want to purchase products and services with businesses that share their values. A great organization understands that its purpose must go beyond profit and be linked to a transcendent purpose with which employees and consumers align.


Trust is the bedrock of an organization and enables innovation and healthy risk-taking. It is cultivated when leaders empower employees to fulfill their own potential as they serve the mission of the organization.


Meaningful organizational change begins within the heart of leaders and ultimately takes root when the desired transformation is lived out and modeled for others. Over time this creates a culture that is resilient and adaptable.

Leadership Circles

(by Marv Franz). The workplace is designed for production. People are designed for purpose. Our world needs leaders that are committed to the growth of people and communities. Leaders are best formed in communities that care about one another, re-kindle hope, reflect and learn together, encourage mutual growth. Download PDF

Evaluations Matter

(by Chris Houston and Marv Franz). Given our increasing knowledge about good governance, is our governance good enough and is it improving? If your board is wondering about its effectiveness, it needs to begin with a well-designed and well-executed assessment process – one that reveals the truth about your board, its overall effectiveness and the individual contributions of each director. Download PDF

Marv Franz


Marv Franz is the principal of New Vantage. He consults to senior leaders, executive teams, and boards to unlock the potential of their organizations and leadership teams. He views his work as a 'calling' and brings an approachable and personal style to his engagement with clients.


Marv has applied fourteen years of consulting experience to the needs of his clients in strategy design and execution, executive leadership development, executive leadership development, organizational culture and board governance in North America, South America, Africa and Asia. He has worked with over sixty organizations including small firms to multinationals in banking, consumer goods, advertising, health care, social services, international development, technology, sports and entertainment, energy, education, insurance and transportation, government sectors as well as other not-for-profit organizations. His leadership development work with a Canadian Government organization helped them to achieve the 2015 Governor General’s Order of Excellence, the highest national award for organizational excellence.  This experience led to co-authoring his book, The Inspired Workplace: How Building Community at Work Unlocks Organizational Potential.


To serve his clients, Marv draws upon a unique combination of educational and past work experience. He holds an MBA from the School of Business and Economics at Wilfrid Laurier University specializing in Strategy, holds university undergraduate degrees in Biology (B.Sc. hons) and Education (B.Ed), as well as two graduate theology degrees.

Prior to this, Marv has spent six years as a management consultant and partner with the Change Alliance and twelve years as a team and leadership developer in both Canadian university and international NGO contexts. Over this period he has worked as a manager within university student services departments at Brock University in St. Catharines, Ontario, University of British Columbia in Vancouver, BC, and Wilfrid Laurier in Waterloo, Ontario.

Here he developed and managed staff teams, offered leadership on university management teams, as well as created leadership curriculum, training programs and international service-learning teams in partnership with NGO’s in developing world contexts in Latin America and Africa.


Jim Hurlburt, Senior Consulting Partner

Jim Hulburt

Beginning in January, 2021

Jim says:

For the last 15 years, I've been fortunate to partner with the wonderful people at BNSF who daily engage in the truly high calling of railroading: safely moving the goods vital to our nation and economy!  This pandemic year has only made the concept of calling and purpose stronger, more compelling.  I’ve never been more proud to be part of such a great company, one clearly committed to its calling. 

But this year has made other things clear too: seasons change. While the BNSF journey has been rewarding in countless ways - with life lessons and life-long friendships - I'm excited to share that a new season and calling will soon begin for me. Starting in January, 2021, I'll be taking my experience and expertise to join New Vantage, where our purpose is to unlock the potential of organizations, improve engagement and inspire the achievement of tangible business results.

Based in the Dallas Ft. Worth, Jim brings 25 years of broad business leadership experience, as a performance management consultant, business coach, as well as attorney and mediator. At BNSF Railway, a Berkshire Hathaway Company - Jim offered a unique blend of performance management consulting, coaching and mentoring, along with oral and written advocacy, to deliver consistent and outstanding business results for BNSF.  He helped build and maintain strong business relationships with BNSF’s 13 Labor Organizations, providing expertise in employee engagement, next generation communications, conflict resolution, conflict management, knowledge management, change management, and leadership training. Jim successfully launched New Vantage’s Leadership Circle methodology inside BNSF, receiving wide positive acclaim from a broad range of internal business partners based on achieving sustained cultural change, talent retention, as well as broad positive personal and professional growth, all of which led to positive business results over an 18-month period. 

Jim’s diverse experience in performance management comes from RLG International (Vancouver, BC) where he worked in the pulp and paper industry with Potlach Corporation (Lewiston, Idaho) and in Aerospace with Bell Helicopter (Fort Worth, Texas). Among other success stories with RLG, Jim was recognized for use of innovative tools and lasting behavior change. As an attorney, Jim has represented a wide range of clients, helping clients achieve desired legal and business results as a skilled litigator and mediator. Clients included Lloyds of London, State Farm, as well a wide range of business and commercial clients in Houston and Dallas/Ft. Worth.  Jim’s excellence in innovation and continuous improvement twice resulted in receiving BNSF Achievement Awards as well as being a BNSF Employee of the Year.

Glem Dias, Strategic Partner

Glem Dias

Based in Toronto, Glem provides expertise as an award-winning Leadership & Talent strategist, helping organizations unlock the potential of their talent. He has led full life cycle talent strategies at Pitney Bowes US, Walmart Canada and Morgan Stanley India. He has worked closely and tracked the careers of over 1000 executives and high-potential leaders from 20 countries over two decades. His work around accelerating millennials to be future leaders has been recognized as world-class and published by the Association for Talent Development (formerly ASTD). 

He was the Global Director of Strategic Talent Management at Pitney Bowes Inc. His diverse experience comes from sectors such as investment banking, software, telecommunications, retail, pharmaceuticals, healthcare and not-for-profit. He has worked in the US, Canada, India, and has done assignments in Europe, Asia Pacific, and Latin America. He was also responsible for executive and high-potential development at Wal-Mart Canada and HR Leader for Morgan Stanley India. 

Glem is the Director of the Global Talent Centre at the Schulich Executive Education Centre (SEEC). He was instrumental in shaping the vision, strategy and model for this centre.

Accelerating leadership and culture transformation for business impact.

This is a time for courageous leadership.

As businesses face uncharted volatility, uncertainty and complexity, leaders need trusted partners to help their organizations adapt to new realities and create high performance cultures.

We design and deliver leadership and culture strategies that unlock the potential of organizations, improve engagement and inspire the achievement of tangible business results.

Announcement: We are Expanding the Team!

New Vantage is excited to announce that Jim Hurlburt will be a new Senior Consulting Partner, based in Dallas Fort-Worth beginning in January, 2021. Jim brings 25 years of distinguished business and consulting experience to New Vantage where he will partner with clients to bring leadership and culture transformation. Read more.


Book Release from New Vantage

The Inspired Workplace | How Building Community at Work Unlocks Organizational Potential | M.K. Franz & Dr. Hugh Drouin

Contact Marv Franz

Marv Franz

Marv Franz
Mobile: 519-590-0470
Email: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

We partner with you to design and facilitate a planning process that combines fresh thinking, robust participation and analytic rigor in the creation of strategy.

Senior leaders often come looking for help with the development of their corporate strategy or a range of business challenges. We assist you with a carefully crafted process to fit the context and culture of your organization – one that results in a creative plan that drives action and re-energizes your team’s commitment to the future of your organization.

Success Story

We partner with you to help manage the change that is inherent in the evolution or revolution of your business.

Complex strategies may leave you wondering, “How are we going to work together to get this done?” They require new collaboration, interpersonal savvy and insight. We help you re-align responsibilities and accountabilities of your leaders and teams so that you can launch high-performance project teams, coach leaders, and integrate a portfolio of change planning activities.

We partner with you to create innovative learning initiatives that grow talent and enable leaders to thrive in the workplace. These programs have been re-designed for online formats to address the very leadership and business challenges brought on by pandemic.

We are convinced that many training programs fall short precisely because they are not designed to be transformative experiences that create lasting growth and change. In order to grow, leaders need a safe environment to be transparent about their successes and struggles. Our programs draw upon content from global thought leaders in a way that allows participants to reflect on and solve for the business challenges that they face. At the same time, we utilize a unique approach that humanizes the experience and facilitates the growth of trusted relationships among colleagues and team members.

These programs can also help you to attract, develop and retain the next generation of leaders through custom high-potential leadership growth initiatives.

Success Story

We partner with you as you identify tangible ways to improve governance function, overall board health and individual director contribution.

Senior leaders invite us to help their governance boards bring about renewal and greater effectiveness. We do this by helping boards understand and adopt good governance practices, and facilitate evaluation processes of boards and directors. We also coach you board to implement structure and process change that enhances board effectiveness.

Success Story

The Context

A CEO in the advertising industry runs a sprawling network of businesses in a global region that must work together in order for everyone to be successful. In the midst of economic challenges, stiff competition, and limited trust the CEO looks to help this network most effectively use it strengths and economies of scale in order to successful serve their clients.

The Problem

How will business and creative leaders agree and build important capabilities that can be shared across the corporation and add value to their clients?

The Solution

The solution would lie in business and functional leaders first facing the reality that working independently would clearly lead to business failure. The team of leaders was interviewed and surveyed to draw out sensitive issues that had to be addressed across businesses and functions. Then the group of leaders and functional leaders were brought together in a summit over several days that allowed them to identify and own shared goals, wrestle through business challenges, build trust personally with one another and make actionable commitments to shared objectives. What were the keys to success? A CEO who was willing to invest the resources, time and energy to address the heart of the matter and a facilitated dialogue that enabled leaders to be real, transparent and willing to contribute the success of the whole.

The Success

The global region made commitments to each other (and followed through) achieving outstanding financial results over the following years that would provide an example in business cooperation for other global regions.

The Context

A senior leader in a public sector organization oversees approximately 2000 staff looking to create a culture that would empower staff and strengthen the leadership. The workplace is staffed with unionized and lifetime workforce where culture change tends to be slow in coming. Managers and staff alike feel the pressures of funding decreases, increasing regulatory requirements and public scrutiny.

The Problem

How can a new culture of empowering leadership be developed – one that leads to greater leadership capability, support, effectiveness and a real sense of community in the workplace?

The Solution

The answer would not be more management training or any cookie cutter approach, for that matter. The answer would come from the bottom-up, with the support of senior leadership. A small hand-picked team of staff across the organization were assembled with the client to create an customized initiative that would really address what leaders need to grow and be effective. This group clarified the culture shift that was needed and then developed a leadership development concept that could be scalable and sustainable over time. What was created? An innovative learning environment characterized by the following:

  • Groups of approximately 10 or so leaders gathered once every few weeks and led by skilled facilitators;
  • Content from recognized global thought leaders was assembled to introduce leadership concepts and practices and help participants to reflect on workplace leadership experiences;
  • Participants felt ‘safe’ to discuss and solve for workplace real challenges;
  • Humanized connection with one another because participants were encouraged to relate to one another as persons beyond their professional roles
  • A new shared culture was created and reinforced through the group experiences;

This became a learning environment that enabled transformational learning precisely because it engaged leaders where they were at and took seriously how they wanted to grow their own leadership.

The Success

Over several years, this initiative produced many groups that have impacted hundreds of leaders directly and created a transformation that improved the leadership capabilities of the organization. Efficiency and client service improved through new innovations catalyzed by a new innovation function that established partnerships with Harvard's Kennedy School of Government. Employee engagement scores increased and talent retention was very strong. The program was acknowledged by Excellence Canada as a key driver to creating a world-class leadership culture.

The Context

The CEO of a training company led a transformation that integrated multiple stand-alone businesses into one business with complementary service lines. These changes led to successful growth of the company but raised questions about the effectiveness of the board’s structure that still mirrored the past corporate form, and revealed gaps and inefficiencies in board governance oversight.

The Problem

How must board systems now align with the business and management in order to be the board of the future and provide governance leadership for the organization?

The Solution

When it became clear that simple adjustments were not adequate to address the problem, a full board review was undertaken to assess all areas of board governance. Through interviews, surveys, analysis, and in comparison to board best practice, a comprehensive picture of board effectiveness emerged. This led to a clear set of recommendations with a roadmap for implementation that could be safely discussed in the context of a well-facilitated discussion. It was vital to ensure that Board members and Management felt that they were listened to, respected and engaged throughout the process.

The Success

The recommendations including difficult, major changes to board structures and processes and over time, board composition were adopted. Over the following year, the recommendations were implemented successfully and led to significant growth in board governance capabilities.

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Every organization has a circle and a triangle:

The triangle represents the mind and function of the organization – the means. Its sharp corners represent the management hierarchy that enables the organization to efficiently produce, sell or deliver a service. It needs to build in proper controls, focus its attention on performance, efficiency, establishing systems, processes and policies in order to accomplish tasks and objectives. The triangle asks “What must we do?” and “How must we do it” – ensuring that everything can be measured and objectively understood. Fundamentally, the triangle is the scaffolding of the organization and what makes its engines run.

The circle represents the heart and purpose of the organization – the ends. Its rounded shape symbolizes that the organization is a community of people that have something important to contribute together. The circle emphasizes the interdependence of its employees and important of team. It is aspirational in nature leadership of people rather than the management of systems. The circle asks, “Why are we doing this?” and concerns itself with purpose, vision, courage, empathy, significance, the importance of history and values. Fundamentally, the circle is the soul of the organization that enables the organization to understand its own meaning and it true contribution to its stakeholders, customers and employees.

In many organizations, there is great confusion and conflict between the means and the ends. Both are necessary and should work in balance. However, in many organizations, the triangle contains the circle resulting in organizational dysfunction.

The focus of leadership development is to expand the circle capabilities in leaders so that the organization can successfully live out the purposes of the organization within the realities of the triangle.

New Vantage has developed an innovative leadership offering called Leadership Circles that equip leaders by:

  • Creating a safe environment to reflect upon as well as openly discuss successes and challenges at work.
  • Providing opportunities to reflection upon world-class leadership content.
  • Enabling peer-to-peer feedback, encouragement and knowledge sharing.

Being an effective governance board requires sustained effort in practicing good governance. Four common challenges that boards face on this journey include:

The knowledge challenge: The board simply doesn’t live and breathe the work like management does. The knowledge chasm between management and the board can only be bridged when the board and management ensure that the ‘altitude’ of the boardroom discussion is at the level of purpose, mission and strategy rather than on gaining greater knowledge of operational matters. Otherwise there is no meeting across the chasm. To what degree is your board focused at the right level of engagement and discussion?


The attention challenge: The reality is that there is always loss of attention and memory of board matters in the period between board meetings. And yet, this is precisely the time much of the governance work becomes operational. This loss of attention in the jungle of competing demands can result at times in delays and unclear hand-offs. How successful is your board in consistently getting its work done and with excellence.


The diversity challenge: Each director brings a unique set of experiences and skills to bear on the work of governing that must fit the skills and experience profile that board requires. And like any team, there are unique roles and skill sets that fit together like a puzzle. Is the talent around your board table being maximized to its greatest potential?


The relevance challenge: A vital role that the board plays is to continue scanning the changing environment of the business and ask: Are we continuing to remain relevant given our purpose and who we serve? Typically boards are reactive and respond to the initiative of management. However, the board must ensure that its focus, skill sets and perspectives are well suited for the future of the organization. How might our board need to grow or change in order to lead into the future?

New Vantage has developed a model for governance effectiveness that allows your board to address each of the challenges and identify ways to improve governance effectiveness.


New Vantage has experience consulting with clients across diverse sectors that include: 

  • Bank of Montreal
  • BNSF Railway
  • Catholic Children’s Aid Society
  • Canadian Automobile Association
  • Canadian Construction Association
  • Canadian Institute for Steel Construction
  • CES
  • Council of Ontario Universities
  • Co-operators Insurance
  • CWB Group
  • Durham Region
  • Historica-Dominion Institute
  • Institute for Corporate Directors
  • JWT
  • Kitchener Rangers
  • Laurier Executive Centre
  • LG Electronics
  • Ontario Association of Foodbanks
  • Ogilvy
  • Ontario Teachers’ Pension Plan
  • Ontario Universities’ Application Centre
  • Surety Association of Canada
  • University of Guelph
  • University of Waterloo, Renison College
  • University of Toronto, Wycliffe College
  • Unilever
  • World Vision